Govt scheme to arrest decline in Parsi population

Concerned over the dwindling number of Parsis, one of the five notified national minorities, Government has launched a scheme to arrest the trend of decline in their population.

Updated: Jun 10, 2010, 23:20 PM IST

New Delhi: Concerned over the dwindling
number of Parsis, one of the five notified national
minorities, Government has launched a scheme to arrest the
trend of decline in their population.

The Central Sector Scheme is one of the four new projects
to be implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs during
the current financial year.
The population of Parsis has been declining over the
years, reaching just 69,000 in 2001 from 1,14,000 in 1941.

The scheme for containing population decline of Parsis is
to be implemented during 2010-11 and a budgetary provision of
Rs 1 crore has been made for this purpose, an official
statement said.

The scheme is currently undergoing the process of
formulation, appraisal and approval by the competent
authority, it added.

The government`s move came as the National Commission for
Minorities pressed the panic button after a thorough survey
among the community.
After its survey, the NCM suggested that the community
should reverse the trend of late marriages or no marriages.
The NCM survey also took note of the fact that the average
birth rate in the community was coming down every year.

"Proportion of those not marrying is highest among the
Parsis, especially among Parsi females," the study had said.

From 223 births in 2001, it came down to 174 in 2006. In
all these years, the average birth ratio remained below 200.
Till August 2007, the total number of births in the community
was just 99.

The survey had also pointed out a large number of Parsis
are aged. Thirty per cent of the total population are above
50, while the number of adolescents and children remained just
around 12 per cent.

Around 18,000 Parsis, who are Zoroastrian by faith, had
fled to India from Persia during the Arab conquest over 1,000
years ago and settled in Gujarat. Over the years, the
community has made a name for itself in entrepreneurship.

PTI